UCLA students, alumni speak out on diversity

diversityrally.jpg There’s a lot of pissed off students at UCLA these days. Before Tuesday night, a lot of those students were raising a ruckus about the the extremely low numbers of African American students in the freshmen class (103 out of over 4,800 freshmen) due in large part to the changes brought on by Proposition 209 approved by California voters 10 years ago. Now they’re pissed off about the incident of police brutality Tuesday night in which a Muslim student was Tasered by UCPD (see 5000!’s post below).

At the UC Regents meeting, students, alumni and community members voiced their concerns about the low numbers of black students at UCLA and called for more action on the part of the Regents and university leadership to address the lack of diversity.

I spoke to the Regents too and asked them to do as they did when Prop 209 first took effect and “the numbers” for black, Chicana/o and Latina/o and Native American students fell drastically. Although they couldn’t use race in admission, they renewd their commitment by greatly increasing funding for academic preparation programs which would help prepare more underrepresented minority, first generation and low income students for college. Unfortunately, that commitment on behalf of the Regents and Legislature has decreased in the last few years of budget cuts.

Although some of the Regents spoke out forcefully in favor of increasing funding for academic preparation from the 12 million from the Regents to 33 million (the state supplies an additional 19, for a total of 31 million), the $3.3 billion budget was passed as is.

The Regents had a chance to show greater commitment to diversity and passed it up. I guess they don’t mind pissing off students.

More on the meeting and rally at the LA Times (link) and Daily Bruin (meeting, rally).

Photo by Daily Bruin photographer Michael Chen.

8 thoughts on “UCLA students, alumni speak out on diversity”

  1. Hey kids! Here a clue for ya…shut the fuck up and go to class! Youre there on somebody elses dime and damn lucky for it, ungrafeful dipshit.

  2. Ted, do yourself a favor and SHUT UP. Did you even read what’s going on here? These students have the right to voice their concerns, and lack of diversity on campus IS something to be concerned about. Idiot.

  3. “…those students were raising a ruckus about the the extremely low numbers of African American students in the freshmen class”

    So… why don’t ya head down to south Los Angeles (it’s only a few miles from comfortable Westwood) and help out these kids that won’t be making it in to UCLA in the coming years due to their lack of a decent education.

    Or maybe you can just sit around and demand that they be let it anyway. Forget the education! Follow the skin!

  4. Elzed,
    Maybe you didn’t read the entire post, but one of the things I mentioned was that students called for increased funding for academic preparation programs precisely to be able to serve more students in areas like South LA. A number of programs on campus — run by students and professionals in the field of academic preparation — already target schools in South LA, however it’s tough to keep going there and working with students to prepare them for college when funding for such programs is constantly threatened.

  5. I read that you asked for increased funding (“I spoke to the Regents too and asked them…”) but nothing about the students doing so.

    “…Students…called for more action on the part of the Regents and university leadership” doesn’t describe precisely what action the students are demanding.

    However, I still stand by the suggestion for the students to take action rather than, or, if you must, in addition to, asking for more money.

    Lead by example. Unless the example is for how to get the state to pay for your stuff.

  6. Elzed,
    Students do take action. In fact, asking for funding is to keep the programs from downsizing or shutting down all together. Students also tax themselves through referenda and pay a few dollars per quarter to support these programs. Last, students partner with school districts and community based organizations for funding and to provide services to students in those schools.

    The students who you say are just asking the state to “pay for [their] stuff” are several steps ahead of you and have been for several years.

  7. So these students are protesting a lack of funds for such measures as the Early Academic Outreach Program and the Student Initiated Access Committee. Or these students are protesting that there’s not enough blacks. Which is true?

    Or are they upset because the programs don’t appear to be helping? Or are the programs helping but funding is being cut? Is there a relationship to how much funding the programs receive and the number of black freshmen?

    I find it hard to believe an earnest university student would simply say “Hmm. I think there aren’t enough black folk here.” But relating how students are upset about low numbers due mainly to Prop 209 (which put the onus on an educated incoming student body and off skin color) certainly doesn’t evoke a sophisticated approach to a societal (read parental/familial) crisis.

    If, however, the students are far more involved in their community-at-large than I understood from the original blog presented here then I apologize to those students actually doing something about it. Go America.

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